Companies around the world are seeking strategies to trim event costs yet still deliver value. It isn't always easy. Inspired by a lively discussion in the Event Planning and Management Group on LinkedIn, I thought I would share my favourite strategies for stretching event budgets. Event and meeting planners can use these strategies for special events, galas, conferences, business meetings, and team building retreats.
- Eliminate alcohol.
This will trim any event or meeting budget significantly. It's my top recommendation but I realize, it's probably the least popular.
- Opt for a cash bar.
- Use drink tickets in combination with a cash bar to cap the beverage budget.
- For lunches and receptions, replace china and crystal with nice, sustainable disposables.
- Instead of business class, opt for economy class travel in combination with paid access airport lounges and transit hotels.
- Change the destination.
Think Kuala Lumpur or Kuching instead of Singapore and Al Ain or Fujairah instead of Dubai or Abu Dhabi
- Change the season.
At some destinations, you can save significantly if you shift your date by just a few months. For example, in Jamaica and other Caribbean destinations off-season bookings pay off. If you schedule your event in early May instead of March or April or November instead of December, you will still have great weather but you will save.
- Stay in the suburbs or small towns instead of at downtown hotels.
- In combination with number 8, select event venues outside the downtown core.
- For small groups, stay at heritage venues, small inns, resorts and lodges.
If you time it right, you can have exclusive use of the property and get maximum personal attention.
- Use campus conference facilities and event venues.
Some universities and colleges have hidden gems.
- Stay near where you intend to play to trim transportation costs.
- Book luxury resorts or 5 Star hotels during soft launch.
You'll need to pay more attention to logistics and inspect rooms to ensure everything goes smoothly but the savings will be significant.
- Pay in full at the time of booking.
Some suppliers will give discounts.
- Use conservation areas, campsites, atriums, botanical gardens and camps during off-season to add a unique flair to themed events.
So there you have a range of tips to trim just about any event budget. They are equally effective for corporate events, concerts, religious events, and non-profit events.
What cost-saving strategies would you add to this list?
Photo Credit: Images_of_Money
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